A week after Donald Trump disbanded two advisory councils in the wake of several CEO departures, another White House panel has seen a number of its members leave. Eight of the National Infrastructure Advisory Council’s (NIAC) 28 members quit last week. Their group resignation letter cites the administration’s inadequate approach to cybersecurity threats and Trump’s response to the Charlottesville rally.
The NIAC - formed in 2001 under George W. Bush - advises on the security of the critical infrastructure sectors and their information systems. Its members, which can total a maximum of 30, are chosen by the President from the private sector, academia and state and local government.
In the resignation letter obtained by NextGov, the leaving members explain: "You have given insufficient attention to the growing threats to the cybersecurity of the critical systems upon which all Americans depend, including those impacting the systems supporting our democratic election process."
It also states that Trump’s failure “to denounce the intolerance and violence of hate groups” when asked about Charlottesville “threatened the security of the homeland.” The President is lambasted for his “false equivalences and attacking the motives of the CEOs who had resigned from their advisory roles in protest.”
After several CEO’s, including Intel’s Brian Krzanich, resigned from the Manufacturing Council and the Strategy and Policy Forum, Trump disbanded the councils. But despite the departures, it seems unlikely that the NIAC will also be dissolved.
Rather than putting pressure on the businesspeople of the Manufacturing Council & Strategy & Policy Forum, I am ending both. Thank you all!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 16, 2017
Some of those leaving the NIAC include the first ever White House Chief Data Scientist, DJ Patil, along with former Office of Science and Technology Policy Chief Cristin Dorgelo and White House Council on Environmental Quality Managing Director Christy Goldfuss.
Another high-profile tech name to leave the White House councils was Elon Musk. The Tesla boss, who recently unveiled his SpaceX space suit, resigned in June as a protest against the US pulling out of the Paris Accord.